A pair of Langley employees theorized that computer-controlled navigation would be insufficient to land on the moon, so they advocated for this $2 million dollar simulator. It was intended to familiarize astronauts with the alien surface, hopefully helping them identify visual cues that would let them aid the programs.


Apollo astronauts started using the simulator in 1964, but after the first moon landings they realized it wasn’t actually necessary. The simulator was soon decommissioned, and removed entirely by 1978.

All images credit: NASA/Langley Research Center

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